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RSL steamrolls Portland on the road 4-1

In a game filled with red cards and goals, RSL rolled to a second straight win as they beat the Timbers 4-1.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake rolled to their second straight road win as they downed the Timbers 4-1 at Providence Park.

Mike Petke trotted out the same lineup we saw start against Manchester United two nights ago, in hopes that they’d show some of the same quality and hustle they showed on Monday night.

RSL came out swinging in the first half, registering two decent headers near the goal within the first 10 minutes, and controlling much of the attacking play over the home side.

Kyle Beckerman broke the 0-0 deadlock in the 11th minute with an absolutely beautiful rocket from 25 yards out. He had a shot from distance, as he is known to do, and put it right over Portland keeper Jake Gleeson in the top corner to put his team up 1-0.

The rest of the first half saw plenty of attacking play from RSL, with Gleeson standing on his head with three big saves to keep his team from going down even further. RSL outshot Portland 11-5 overall in the first half, with four of those shots on goal to Portland’s one.

The boys went into the locker room for halftime holding onto their 1-0 lead – a very different spot than they’ve been accustomed to this season, especially on the road.

RSL came out in the second half in the same manner, wasting virtually no time doubling their lead when Savarino earned a penalty kick, and Plata finished it off to put the visitors up safely at 2-0.

All hell broke loose a few minutes later when there were three red cards shown in the span of three minutes.

First, Portland’s Victor Arboleda was shown a straight red for an elbow to Joao Plata’s head in the 53rd minute. Shortly after, both Kyle Beckerman and Fanendo Adi were sent off after getting in a tussle – one that any RSL fan would argue was the wrong call for their captain, whose only contact in the incident was a soft hand to Adi’s arm before he was knocked to the ground by the Portland striker.

After all the red card madness, Albert Rusnak added another to RSL’s tally when he found himself with the ball near the goal and it kissed off the crossbar, bounced off the back of Gleeson’s head and sailed into the net. While it would ultimately count as an own goal for Gleeson, the visitors continued to run rampant and rolled to a lead of 3-0 in the 68th minute.

Just 12 minutes later, Plata would bag his second of the game, and fifth on the season, as he scored to put RSL up 4-0 off a Danny Acosta assist in the 80th minute, which would drive the nail in the coffin for the Timbers.

Portland got a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the game thanks to a giveaway in the defensive third. Jack Barmby collected the ball and put it past Nick Rimando in what would be the last play of the game to set the scoreline at 4-1.

Real Salt Lake has now won two straight games – both on the road – outscoring their opponents 10-3. They dominated possession over Portland, 56% to the Timbers’ 44%.

RSL returns home to face off against rivals Sporting Kansas City at home on Saturday and will hope to grab another full three points in their quest to get back into playoff positioning.